WESTWOOD, Calif. — Playboy announced today that it has hired Julie Uhrman as its first-ever president of media to help the company develop a greater presence in streaming TV, videogames and virtual- and augmented-reality platforms.
Playboy CEO Ben Kohn said that Uhrman will oversee the company's media offerings across all verticals as she builds upon Playboy's current subscriber base and continues to expand its global reach.
"Julie brings with her a wealth of experience in media and digital-focused businesses that will be integral to our efforts to meet the demands of our current subscriber base and expand the brand's presence on new platforms," Kohn said.
"With her entrepreneurial mindset and broad experience across digital product, Julie will be a strong asset as we develop opportunities across over-the-top TV platforms, gaming, VR/AR and digital products around the world."
Uhrman comes to Playboy from Lionsgate, where she served as executive vice president and general manager of over-the-top TV ventures, overseeing the company's multiple streaming franchises, including Tribeca Shortlist, Comic-Con HQ, Laugh-Out-Loud in partnership with Kevin Hart and Pantaya.
While at Lionsgate she launched new services and grew the digital distribution footprint domestically and internationally. Prior to joining Lionsgate, Uhrman served as head of platform business development at Jaunt Inc., a cinematic VR company.
"From its very earliest days, Playboy has been an organization that has stood for personal and social freedom," Uhrman said. "It's a brand that actually helped trigger shifts in social awareness and continues to push the envelope in ways that make its offerings more inclusive than ever. I'm thrilled to be joining the Playboy team to help tell this evolving story through all mediums around the world for current and future generations."
For the past seven years, Playboy has labored to become more of a lifestyle brand, focusing mostly on licensing deals.
Its adult pay-per-view TV channel and websites were outsourced to what is now Mindgeek, now one of the largest adult entertainment operators. Playboy has since taken back control of the properties.
Despite the growth of its lifestyle business, the company’s media division — the magazine, adult websites and adult pay-per-view TV channel — delivered about half of its Playboy’s overall revenue of $90 million.
Now, it appears that the company is returning to its roots and is re-exploring adult entertainment with today's announcement.
Uhrman will be based in Playboy’s Westwood, Calif., headquarters.